Pass/Fail Option

Undergraduates may register for courses on a Pass/Fail basis. Students:

  • May not take more than one course as a Pass/Fail per semester for each full year of residence (students studying in off-campus programs through Rice are considered to be in residence for the purpose of this rule).
  • May not take more than four courses total as Pass/Fail.
  • May not take more than a total of 14 semester hours total as Pass/Fail.
  • May register for only one course as Pass/Fail in a semester.
  • May not take as Pass/Fail a repeatable course previously taken and designated as Pass/Fail.
  • May not take as Pass/Fail any course used to meet the requirements for their major, minor, or certificate.*
  • May not take as Pass/Fail any First-Year Writing-Intensive Seminar (FWIS) course.
  • May take as Pass/Fail courses used to meet distribution credit, with the limitation that the course is not additionally being used to meet course requirements for a major, minor, or certificate.
  • Must designate courses to the Pass/Fail grade mode online, via ESTHER, no later than the posted deadline, usually the end of Week 10 of the semester.

Students may convert a pass/fail course to a graded course by submitting the proper online conversion form, via ESTHER, and must adhere to the pass/fail deadlines as stated in the Academic Calendar. Students wishing to designate a course as pass/fail during the summer sessions should see Registration During Summer Sessions.

Students should be aware that while a grade of P does not affect their grade point average, a grade of F is counted as a failure and is included in their GPA. Students who take a course during the Rice summer session as pass/fail also should be aware that this counts toward their allowable total of four courses. For more information, please see The Pass/Fail Option page on the Office of the Registrar website. 

*Please Note: If students take such courses as Pass/Fail, they should request in writing to the Office of the Registrar that the P grade be replaced with the letter grade earned. Otherwise, the Office of the Registrar will uncover the P grade during the final degree audit process (which begins with day one of the student’s final semester). Once the P is uncovered, it will not be restored or subsequently returned to that course; therefore, students should review their Degree Works degree audits carefully to ensure that courses are applied in their degree audit as expected.